Feed on

My cat is a camera-whore who is also very curious about this new, blue thing leaning against her favorite sofa (as usual, click the image for a larger version)

Cat-free photos of the Girly-Burley. I know it doesn’t look like the sterotypical “women’s bike,” but the Burley McKenzie is a women’s specific bike.

What can I say; it’s like going from driving a vintage VW Type 1 to jumping into a brand new Porsche 911. I’m still reeling with the whole notion of “Holy shit, it’s light and fast and, holy shit, mine!”

About two months ago, I started to realize that as much as I like my old Trek, and as much fun I’ve had with it and as many miles as I’ve put on it, it really wasn’t that suited to the sort of riding I like to do (climb hills, haul ass on the way down, ride for hours and hours and hours on end). I started asking around to other people who rode road bikes, started test-riding stuff, just looking around. One day about a month ago, I was test-riding stuff in at a local bike shop (the one where I go to meet up with people for a ride night) and I’d mostly been testing out fairly entry level stuff, and having trouble with the shifters; practically everything on the lower-budget end comes with Shimano Sora shifter/brake levers, the angle of which is way off for me; I can’t get my hands around them to brake hard and the way the shifters tilt from side to side to shift, I practically had to take my hand off the bar to shove it over enough to get the derailleur to engage. Also, a lot of the bikes I’d been test-riding were aluminum frames, which I just couldn’t get used to. Aluminum frames feel kind of “rickety” to me; unsteady and fragile. I was feeling pretty uninspired with the stuff I’d ridden to that point. I didn’t have any intention of spending between $700-1000 on a bike that just didn’t feel right, or that I didn’t think I could stop quickly if needed. On a whim, I decided to go ahead and test-ride the Burley, though it was outside of what I’d initally planned on spending by a pretty fair stretch.

When I came back from my test-ride, I started re-evaluating my bike budget. This bike already felt like it should be mine. Everything shifter/brake-wise was right in reach and comfortable. I wasn’t overly stretched out or bunched up on the frame. When I laid into the pedals hard, it was like instantaneous “zoom.” On the way back to the shop, I started thinking, “wow, I could see myself putting some serious miles on that bike.”

The rest of the ensuing month was spent in a ferocious internal debate with myself, side A arguing that “wow, I really would have a lot of fun with that kickass bike” and Side B arguing that it was shamefully frivolous and self-indulgent to be considering such an expenditure.

Hi. I’m Michelle, and I’m shamefully frivolous and self-indulgent.

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